2014 Butterfly LA Open Headliner Chih-Yuan Chuang (WR #7) Fighter and Philanthropist
Well known for his semi-final finish at the 2012 Olympics and his Men’s Doubles title at the 2013 World Championship, Chih-Yuan Chuang (WR #7) from Taiwan will headline this year’s Butterfly Los Angeles Open. His achievements in the table tennis community have defined him as a well-respected, honored and admirable athlete; however the road to stardom was not always an easy one for the international super star.
Growing up in a nationally renowned table tennis family in Taiwan, Chuang began competing at the age of 8. By 13, he had started to spend time seriously training in China. At 17, he had made his debut on the Taiwan national team and competed in the World Championships and ITTF Pro Tour events shortly thereafter. Before 2002, which many consider to be Chuang’s breakout year (he won the ITTF Grand Tour Finals, recorded wins against legends Wang Hao (CHN) and Jean-Michel Saive (BEL), and reached the top 10 in the ITTF world ranking list), Chuang made a decision to focus his training and competition in Europe. Nicknamed the “lonely rider”, Chuang traveled and competed alone and without a coach in every ITTF Pro-Tour tournament he could attend in 2001 and 2002. His dedication and relentless energy to improve paid off when he won the Grand Tour Finals at the end of that year. 2003 was another successful year for Chuang, as he reached #3 on the ITTF World Ranking list.
However, there was a lull in his success following his quarter-final exit from the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Rarely reaching beyond the quarter-finals of any ITTF Pro-Tour events, and dropping to a low of WR #20 in 2010, Chuang seemed to be on his way out. Then in 2011, he returned to the table tennis world with renewed energy and won the ITTF Chile Open. Since then, he has enjoyed success in major international events, including the 2012 London Olympic Games (semi-finalist) and the 2013 World Championships (men’s doubles champion).
This weekend, the US table tennis community looks forward to welcoming international super star Chuang to Los Angeles, California for the 2014 Butterfly Los Angeles Open.
Continual coverage of the 2014 Butterfly Los Angeles Open and stories about the athletes will be available at butterflyonline.com, or via Butterfly North America’s twitter and facebook pages.